20 MILES AN HOUR LIMIT
Imposition on 20 miles an hour speed limit in the Birmingham's residential, shopping, parks, health centre, hospital and leisure areas. This preposition will directly impact owners of small businesses whose activities involve regular transport and journeys within the city. Implementation is to take place on a phased basis, beginning with a pilot scheme broadly covering a third of the city, subdivided into four smaller areas. Reductions in damage and loss of life are clearly a worthy objective the speed limit is trying to achieve, but it is fair to ask whether the effects of the proposed limit on those Birmingham small businesses with daily in-city transport / journey requirements have been given any consideration whatsoever. It is also appropriate to ask whether drivers' attention should be focused on their speedometers or on the road ahead.
ON-LINE SCAMS IN BIRMINGHAM
Online scams in Birmingham are currently being perpetrated via telephone cons and fraudulent emails. One of the most common scams is that a cold caller suggests that the victim's computer has a serious virus that must be repaired immediately, and asks the owner to allow remote access to it. Another is that a phishing email typically purporting to be from the vicm's bank warns of 'suspicious activity' on an account, and asks the victim to follow a link to report it. Both of these scams create a risk of identity fraud and financial loss.
-More information about Birmingham Trading Standards is available at www.birmingham.gov.uk/ tradingstandards
-If you have lost money or information or your computer has been taken over by a phishing or malware attack, you can also report it to the UK's national fraud and internet crime reporting centre, Action Fraud, on 0300 123 2040.
Birmingham Finance SME (Small Medium Enterprise) Fund:
A new funding stream worth a total of £56 million has been initiated by Finance Birmingham, the public-private partnership set up to fill the gap led by risk-averse high street lenders. The Mezzanine Fund is intended to help about 40 SMEs in Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull, and create or safeguard 5,000 jobs. It is scheduled to run until March 2019. Businesses can apply for loans of between £250,000 and £2 million to fund development and expansion, but the partnership expects typical investments to be around £1 million. Funds will be provided in the form of what are described as mezzanine loans, sitting between traditional debt and equity and avoiding part ownership by investors.
-For further information, visit www.financebirmingham.com or telephone 0121 233 4903.
Skills shortage in the United Kingdom Workforce:
A survey of four hundred job agencies by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation found that employers were still encountering difficulties in hiring people with the skills and talents needed for many posts. Other research carried out by Pro Bono Economics for the National Numeracy charity found that poor numeracy was costing the UK over £20 billion a year.